Goal Setting

I’ve been a federal employee for almost 10 years. In that time I’ve gotten used to seeing the latest buzzwords thrown around. One of my previous coworkers had this comic taped to his cubicle and it was one of my favorites (not sure of the source so I can’t give credit).

Buzzwords

One buzzword I actually do like and continue to use is for goal setting. As 2018 comes to an end, I’ve been looking back on how the year went and where I want to improve for next year. To do this I use SMART goals (the government loves acronyms).

Specific

Nebulous goals are hard to achieve. Putting a quantifiable value lets you know if you have achieved your goal or not.

Measurable

Most likely if you have a specific goal it will also be measurable, but you need to have a system in place to measure it. This could be a scale for weight goals, or an expense tracker for financial goals. Either way, you need to have the system and use it.

Attainable

Pie in the sky goals sound great, but as a deadline draws near it is easier to give up if the goal is too lofty. Pick something that is challenging, but within grasp.

Relevant

Goals should be relevant to you. If it isn’t something you care about you won’t be motivated to achieve it.

Timely

A time-bound goal provides both motivation and the ability to measure progress. The length of the time will depend on the goal.

Example:

  • Bad – I want to spend less money
  • Good – I will spend less than $65,000 this year and track it using Personal Capital.
    • Specific – Spend less than $65k
    • Measurable – Track using Personal Capital
    • Attainable – 2018 expenses were $80k
    • Relevant – Financial Independence related
    • Timely – 1 year time frame

Later this week I’ll be sharing some of my goals for 2019 as finish my review of 2018 and plan out the 365 days in 2019.

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